Numbers 13. Report of Lieutenant Abram H. Ryan, Seventeenth Illinois Infantry, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, Camp near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 14, 1862.
The following is a report of the Third Brigade, First Division, Colonel L. F. Ross, Seventeenth regiment Illinois Infantry, commanding, for the 6th and 7th days of April, 1962:
On the morning of the 6th instant I was sent for by Colonel Rearden, Twenty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, commanding brigade. Upon reporting to him he stated that owing to ill-health he was unable to command the brigade. While conversing with him heavy firing was heard in the front and on our left. Colonel Rearden ordered me to report to Colonel Raith, Forty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (next senior officer of the brigade), his condition, and request him to assume command, and them to report to Major-General McClernand the condition of the brigade. These orders were complied with.
On rejoining the brigade it was advanced to the encampment of General Sherman's division. When all was ready for action I rode to the front, near Taylor's battery, and found nothing intervening between us and the enemy except a line of skirmishers and Taylor's battery. While reconnoitering my horse received a ball through the neck, forcing me back to the main line. I reporter to Captain Barrett, commanding battery, that his support had left him, and, pointing out the position of the brigade, told him to call upon it if hard pressed.
Returning to the brigade I reported to Colonel Raith the condition of affairs, who directed me to find the position of the Second Brigade, which I found on our left and rear, commanded by Colonel Marsh, of the Twentieth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and with it Major-General McClernand, supervising its movements. On reporting to him he ordered third Brigade to fall back and form on the right of the Second. Returning to the brigade, and not finding Colonel Raith, I gave the necessary orders for the movement. The right of the brigade retained its position, the left falling back in good order, though fighting the enemy step by step. They understood what the movement was for, and executed it accordingly.
Upon reaching the ground that the Second Brigade had occupied we discovered that it had changed its position. We, however, retained the position, hotly pressed by the enemy, till in danger of being flanked on the left, Colonel Raith being engaged in another portion of the field. Seeing no support, I gave the necessary orders and fell back, fighting the enemy step by step, and formed on a line with some troops in our rear. Major Schwartz here requested that a portion of the brigade be detached to support his battery. The Seventeenth Illinois Regiment was detailed for that purpose, and remained until the battery limbered up and changed position. A few minutes afterward Colonel Raith fell mortally wounded. He was immediately carried to the rear by four of his own men. I accompanied him a short distance to receive orders, &c. When I returned the Twenty-ninth and Forty-ninth Regiments had fallen to the rear, having expended their ammunition. The remainder of the brigade continued the fight until their ammunition gave out likewise, when they were ordered to the rear for a new supply. On gaining the encampment of the First Brigade, First Division, Lieutenant-,of Taylor's battery, requested a detail od men to assist in working the